Blue whale challenges

It’s a game that consists of a series of 50 tasks assigned to players by the administrators, one task corresponds to one day. Initially they are innocuous then they introduce elements of self harm, and at the end of the “game”, if you want to win  you have to commit suicide. 

It was released in Russia in 2013 by Philipp Budeikin, a 21 years old who was expelled from his university. He said his invention was to cleanse society by pushing people to suicide whom he deemed as having no value. Budeikin was arrested in 2016 pled guilty to “inciting at least 16 teenage girls to commit suicide”.

The origin of the name “Blue Whale” is uncertain. Some reports say that it comes from a song by a russian band called Lumen. Its opening lines are “Why scream/ When no one hears/What we’re talking about” and it features a “huge blue whale” that “can’t break through the net”. Others believe that it’s a reference to beaching, where whales become stranded on beaches and die.

This dangerous “game” also has rules and regulations which the player has to follow during the course of play. The users are not allowed to exit the game at any period of time and have to complete the given tasks at fixed timings defined by the administrator.

The game is not available as an android or iOs application but needs to be accessed via secretive links which are shared as pop-ups on social media sites.  

The psychology of the players is selected based upon the online search activity, for example, a depressed teenager searches will be negatively oriented and take the form of why am I the most disliked person and how could I get rid of all the troubles of my life. 

Parents can prevent their children participation in online pressure groups by understanding the vulnerability of depressed teens on social media.

Giorgia Peroni 3AL